Agile 2018

Agile 2018
Speaking at Agile 2018

Monday, October 20, 2014

It is always something

It is always something.  Being a scrum master
requires a good sense of humor and great deal of self-reflection.
Like many people from Generation X I did much of my growing up during the 1970’s and 1980’s.  One of my favorite celebrities of this period was comedian Gilda Radner from the original Saturday Night Live cast.  She was taken from us far too soon by cancer but she was inspirational in how she lived her life.  She used to say, “It’s always something” with a wry smile and discuss the absurdities of life.  It became the title of her autobiography and for those of us who work as scrum masters we should take it as our personal mantra.

Scrum Masters are confronted daily with numerous problems and have to address them.  In the agile world we call them “impediments” but the reality is they are problems making it difficult for the team to meet its sprint goals. These problems could be developers not getting along or they could be systematic having upper management buy into the process.  It is late nights with developers burning the midnight oil and early mornings taking phone calls with off shore teams.  It is being positive when you have no logical reason and always coaching others to be better.

I have wanted to be a scrum master for over four years and I leaped at the chance when it came along.  Now that I have become one my early enthusiasm has transformed into quiet stoicism.  Each day my team is judged on the software we ship and the value which we provide for the business.  There is always a daily crisis of some sort.  There are millions of dollars in revenue at stake and never enough time to do things.  Under these constraints, it takes a good scrum master to get his team to perform.  I am working toward being a good scrum master.

Until next time.